{Almost} Wordless Wednesday :: Passion Flower (Passiflora)

Posted on: February 5th, 2014 by Trillium Art

Passiflora Passion Flower - Page 001
The weather outside is cold and snowy and my winter-weary spirit is longing for colour.

Over the next four Wednesdays, let’s celebrate sun-loving plants that are commonly found in the tropics. Before we know it, March will have arrived with stronger sunshine, warmer rain and the promise of spring.

Are you ready to inject some passion into your winter morning? Let’s take a look at the Passion Flower, part of a large family ranging from vines, shrubs, annuals, perennials and even trees. This exotic-looking flower is often grown in our climate (Southern Ontario) as a quick-growing annual vine that can cover a lattice giving privacy all summer long.

The flowers are intricate patterns of colour and texture that only stay open for about a day. They have a wide flat section of petals surrounding several rings of filaments. The centre of the flower is a type of stalk that holds up the ovary and stamens.

The name stems (pun intended!) from one of the symbols of Christ’s crucifixion connected to the Passion of Jesus on the cross. The filaments in the form of a wreath representing the Crown of Thorns, the 10 petals symbolizing 10 disciples (without Peter and Judas), the upper stigmata are the three nails with the anthers symbolizing Jesus’ wounds.

The Passion Flower has medicinal uses as an important ingredient in popular sleep aids, as well as being effective for treating anxiety and other conditions; like heart problems, high blood pressure and seizures. It is cautioned to only ingest Passion Flower for a short period of time due to a small concentration of a potentially toxic substance. As always, it is best to check with a medical professional to make sure this plant is right for you.

The passion fruit vines that produce yellow passion fruit is from the same family, most often grown in a greenhouse to maintain that tropical climate with adequate moisture.

I have grown the purple Passion Flower vine in containers, and it grows beautifully up a trellis as well as rambling around the base. The large flowers really put on a show and are definately conversation starters! If growing this beauty in a container for the summer, make sure that the soil is rich in compost to add nutrients as well as keeping the plant moist.

I hope you have a chance to add this to your list of plants to try this summer, on a fence, trellis or in containers on a balcony or deck.

Zone: 6

Light Conditions: full sun to part shade with well-drained soil

Height: quick growing vine, perfect for lattice or fencing, can grow 8 – 12′

Flower: 4″ flat swirl of petals surround a ring of filaments in the centre, colours of blue, purple, pink, red, green or white depending on the variety

Tips: wonderful annuals and can become houseplants for the winter, fragrant, attracts butterflies, easy to grow

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2 Responses

  1. Kelley says:

    This is a new plant for me – very exciting! You mention that the flowers only stay open for a day, how many flowers will this vine have at any one time? If planted in soil for lattice or fencing would it self-seed like a morning glory and come back the following year? If planted in a pot and brought in doors for winter, does it need any pruning to keep it going?
    Thx for the injection of joy on a blustery winters day.

    • Trillium Art says:

      Thanks for your comments. When I grew the vine on a lattice, I constantly had blooms coming on so there was always colour. I have not had any luck with it self-seeding but I am hoping to grow one this year and bring it inside to see if I can overwinter it. Are you hoping to try that too?

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